summer reading achievement gap parenting tips

Parenting Tip: Summer Edition ~ Moving Forward this Summer in Reading (Part II)

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated, Reading/English

Parenting Tip: Summer Edition ~ Moving Forward this Summer in Reading (Part II)

We are determined to keep the reading momentum going.  It’s not easy with summer activities.  But I am committed to it. My lesson learned last week, I can’t always let the kiddos pick their own books.  I have come to find that the books they pick aren’t necessarily books that will challenge their reading comprehension.  So I am making more of an effort to check the DRA level chart when I want them to do some ‘real’ reading.

How’s summer reading going for you?  Check out these reading activities to keep you going!



Bonus! All reading activities presented here are based on Common Core State Standards:




For the Big Kids:

What will they comprehend? Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Have them start with watching this video on figurative language.  



Visit Quizlet to make sure your teen is familiar with terms that will be frequently used in high school English class.

 Parenting Tips Summer reading


Click on ‘Test’ at the top of the screen and have your teen take this test while you’re at work.  When they’re finished they can check the answers (and you can too).

 Parenting Tips Summer reading


I found this site which recommends high school books considered to be Common Core friendly.  Have your teen choose a book from this list.
TIP: You may be able to Google for a free copy of some of these books, especially they are considered ‘classics’.
For example check out this free version of To Kill A Mockingbird
After reading a few chapters of their chosen book have your teen write down 10 examples of figurative language.
Here are some examples of figurative language in To Kill a Mockingbird if you want to make sure they are on the right track.



 for the middle school kids:

What will they comprehend? Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events. Also, introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.


Do you have a middle schooler who is constantly rapping?  Then this book, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang, will allow you to promote reading while your tween or blossoming teen fuels their interest in hip hop.

 books for high schoolers and middle school hip hop


You can access the e-book, buy it or see if you can find it at the library – whatever floats your boat.
They can read the entire book or if you have a child you are trying to get back into reading encourage them to read at the very least read Loop 1 (chapter 1) and Loop 4 (chapter 4).
Have your tween or teen use technology to put together a digitally written paper and presentation on the themes and concepts from this book (on paper make sure they format themes into headings).
Lastly, have your tween or teen put together video clips of hip hop artists from the 80’s 90’s and 2000’s and analyze how their styles have changed from a lyrical and fashion perspective?



For the elementary kids:

What will they comprehend? Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says and when drawing inferences (themes) from the text.
Find a great book for your kiddo to read.  Remember to check the books DRA level.
For example you could use the book The Friends (4-6 grade level – depending on your child).  You may have to order this one as a hard copy. I didn’t really see any e-copies.  (But, what’s wrong with turning pages – I still like too!)

 Parenting Tips Summer reading elementary and middle school books


Ask your whiz kid to find certain themes.  In The Friends they could find such themes as: character, values and friendship.
Have them write down or better yet, type examples of where they find this in the book. Lastly, have them explain why.
They can also find examples of cultural differences for this book. 


For the Preschool and Kindergarten kids:

What will they comprehend? Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
Many little ones are familiar with the story Cinderella.  After reading these two different versions, The Korean Cinderella and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter, have them compare where the stories are different and the same.

 Parenting Tips Summer reading


Parenting Tips Summer reading

This video is also great for them to watch after reading and super's Reading Rainbow!


Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters from WVPT on Vimeo.

Happy Summer Learning! Here’s to Closing the Achievement Gap!

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